Wednesday, September 24, 2008

American Airlines' New Product: Nothing New!

“American Airlines, under fire for poor customer-satisfaction ratings, said Monday it will add check-in and boarding services for top customers including those traveling in first-class or business-class”... Business Week Sep 22, 2008

American Airlines has purportedly just launched a new service, Priority AAcess, that will benefit:

•AAdvantage Gold, Platinum, and Executive Platinum members
•First and Business Class passengers
•Full Fare passengers
•AAirpass Passengers

Priority AAcess, which is set to begin this month, will provide guests with a special check-in gate, a special security line, and a priority “red” lane to board the aircraft ahead of everyone else. Further, if a priority guest arrives at the boarding gate during general boarding, he/she will still be able to cut the general boarding line.

Sounds great, right? The fact of the matter is... this is nothing new! The travelers whom Priority AAccess will benefit have received ALL of the perks of the program for years, EXCEPT the ability to cut the line if you arrive after boarding starts.

This program is great for American in that it makes them sound like they are doing something good for their guests, thereby potentially boosting their customer satisfaction rating and attracting positive press... even though they [American] really just added a name to existing services!

The next reason I feel they did this is that I can see this being used as a potential revenue generator in the new future. I’m going to predict that American begins charging for Priority AAccess in the near future; whether per flight, an annual subscription, or both. The airline industry is all about revenue generators in the current market, and this is just one more possibility in the making.

To make a long story short, there is absolutely nothing new about Priority AAcess. It’s a gimick that has got a fair amount of attention in the airline industry this week. Kudos to American.

Oh well, I’ll still be flying them 5 times next month!

Written By:

Alex Early
Founder & President
The Early Air Way, LLC

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